In this super cool talk from TEDxTokyo, magician Kohtaro Fujiyama morphs ripped pieces of paper into butterflies, and then lets them take flight, controlling their motion by waving fans. (Fast forward to 1:43 to watch.) This fascinating display is an adaptation of tezuma, a classic form of Edo magic that fuses illusion, story and music. It’s an art form Fujiyama knows well, as he is the second generation in his family to practice it — his father is tezuma legend Shintaro Fujiyama.
So what’s the story in this performance? The ongoing cycle of life and death, illustrated by the butterflies.